- Call to Order
- Budget Hearing
- Approval of Budget
- Tax Resolution (roll call vote required)
The Garden City Public Library has announced that they will be open for thirty hours, five days per week, from July 18 through at least the November millage election. Unfortunately, these hours will not meet the minimum requirements for state certification. As a result, the Canton Public Library will not resume reciprocity with Garden City Public Library at this time.
In preparation for their anticipated closing due to lack of funding, the Garden City Public Library has announced that the last day they will lend materials is Thursday, May 26, 2011. GCPL will remain open to the public to use materials within the building until June 25, 2011.
The newly-created library board's announcement that they will open the Romulus Public Library for eight hours, one day per week, through the first week of July, and their plan to fund the library at .12 mills after that for service three days per week, is a great start to getting the new independent library started.
In preparation for their anticipated closing on May 1, the Romulus Public Library has stopped checking out all materials. As a member of The Library Network cooperative, the Romulus Public Library had a reciprocal borrowing agreement in place that allowed you to use neighboring libraries.
While we here at the Canton Public Library are happy to reciprocate with other communities, that reciprocity is based on mutual sharing; we cannot bear the financial burden of serving Romulus residents when Romulus is eliminating funding for their library.
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That's what makes an article like this one from Scott Turow such a mood-lifter for the CPL family. Our featured author at our 2010 Everyone's Reading program, Mr. Turow spoke to a capacity crowd at the Village Theater last February, staying afterward to answer questions, autograph books, and talk to fans. Despite the bleak outlook for the next several years, we here at CPL will continue to strive for excellence in programs, collections, and services, meeting the needs of our community, as Mr. Turow outlines in his article, while maintaining a balanced budget and living within our means.
Governor Snyder released his budget proposal last week, and as expected, the news is grim. The cuts to public, school, and university libraries across the state are significant, and will affect the services that CPL will be able to provide to our community — namely, interlibrary loan and research databases.
The Governor has proposed cutting state aid to libraries to $3 million. The statutorily-required funding is $15 million. The current funding level of $5 million automatically qualifies the state to receive a federal matching grant of $5 million, which pays for MeLCat (statewide interlibrary loan) and the Michigan eLibrary (MeL — statewide research databases). Cutting state aid results in a cut to, and possibly a loss of, the matching grant, which puts MeL and MeLCat in jeopardy.
MeL and MeLCat exemplify the resource-sharing, aggregation of services, eliminating duplication of effort, and economies of scale that the Governor has emphasized over and over. More than 300 libraries — public libraries, K-12 libraries, and university libraries — pool this funding to provide services to Michigan residents. The $5 million investment by the state nets a $5 million matching grant, and saves taxpayers nearly $72 million annually, when you consider the cost to each library if they had to purchase these same resources on their own.
The budget outlook for the library remains bleak in 2011. As I wrote last year, the deepening recession and declining property values mean less money coming in to the library — 95% of our 2010 revenues come from taxes Canton property owners pay to support library programs, collections, and services — which means more cuts for the next several years.
In 2011, our budget will drop another $300,000, to $4.9 million, bringing our cumulative total cuts since 2008 to $1.6 million. $4.9 million is the size our budget was in 2004, when we served 15,000 fewer people, checked out 600,000 fewer items, and had 40% more staff.
Yesterday, the Michigan legislature's budget conference committee proposed another 40% cut to funding for joint library services, from $10 million to $6 million. A minimum funding level of $10 million is required to receive federal matching grant dollars of $5 million. These federal matching funds for MeLCat interlibrary loan and 25 MeL databases are at stake; due to the local economy and cuts to local funding associated with the recession, the Canton Public Library does not have the revenue to pay for interlibrary loan or online genealogical, historical, or reference products if the state legislature does not act to maintain statewide library services — Canton residents would lose access to these resources.